Royal Gunpowder Mills

baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

Set in 170 acres of natural parkland and boasting 20 buildings of major historic importance, the site mixes fascinating history, exciting science and beautiful surroundings to produce a magical day out for all the family. Established in the 17th century and acquired by the Crown in 1787, the Royal Gunpowder Mills has a very important place in both the history of Great Britain and of its home town of Waltham Abbey.

Venue Type:

Science centre, Museum

Opening hours

Please see website for details.

Admission charges

Please see website for details.


  • English Heritage
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
a photograph showing he contents of a 1940s shop

1940s Exhibition

  • 1 January 0200 — 1 January 2020 *on now

Explore war-time life with reconstructions from the 1940s. Experience the sights and sounds as you step inside an Anderson air-raid shelter, peek into a war-time kitchen, and toy shop, and browse in a 1940s general store.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Prof Nitrate

Art and Science Adventures

  • 27 July — 26 August 2016 *on now

Open daily in the school holidays 10- 5 (last entry 3pm). With themed days throughout the holidays there’s adventure to be had for children of all ages. On ‘Secret Mission Mondays’ you see if you have what it takes to be a spy. In the Mad Lab you get involved with crazy experiments on ‘Experimental Tuesdays’. See real rocket scientists launching real scale rockets on ‘Rocket Trial Wednesdays’ and learn about the site’s hidden history on ‘Throwback Thursdays’. On ‘Wild Fridays’ you explore the site’s fascinating natural environment. You might even get a glimpse of our wild deer! Let your artistic side shine with our ‘Creative Weekends’ as you create your own crafty creations. Grown ups have fun too in a unique site packed with history, nature and science for all.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children


See our website.


Big Bang

Big Bang Weekend

  • 27 — 29 August 2016

BIG BANG WEEKEND An explosive finale to summer! A show of pyrotechnic demonstrations and display of how they create explosive special effects that are used on stage and in films. Ahead of the show, enjoy the historic site and landscape, guided tours and exhibitions. Kids can make and launch their own rocket, test their skills on the airsoft range, see mad science shows, spot wildlife, get crafty. Indoors or outdoors, with ample playspace, the Royal Gunpowder Mills is an all-weather venue providing fantastic opportunities for families to explore together, experience nature, and learn about secret history that went on here. The Big Bang Weekend is the perfect way to round off the Summer break. Don’t miss it!

Suitable for

  • Any age


See out website.


Royal Gunpowder Mills
Beaulieu Drive
Waltham Abbey



General enquiries



01992 707370


01992 707372

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.